August 22, 2022
BANGKOK – Thanawat Malabuppha, CEO and co-founder of shopping search engine Priceza, said Thai e-commerce had grown exponentially over the past 17 years, thanks to the internet and Covid-19 crisis. Its success was due to its ability to satisfy consumers’ needs for convenience, diversity and promotions, he added.
“Even though Central continued expanding its branches, consumers prefer the internet rather than department stores as it meets their demand for convenience,” he said.
Under the government’s e-commerce development plan, Thailand is targeting e-commerce revenue of 5.35 trillion baht this year rising to 7.1 trillion baht by 2027.
Kulthirath Pakawachkrilers, CEO of business-scaling solution provider Thailand e-Business Centre, compared the potential of e-commerce in Thailand and China.
She calculated that it would take Thailand up to three years to catch up with China. She advised Thai companies to focus on winning metaverse customers’ hearts rather than luring them with cheap prices.
“Thailand must see the metaverse as a new norm, and be ready to embrace what will happen next,” she said.
She estimated that 10 per cent of Thais are now ready to immerse themselves in the metaverse, led by hardcore gamers.
Kulthirath added that the advent of cryptocurrency is a warning for businesses to train their staff to understand new tech tools in order to boost revenue and growth.
Pawoot Pongvitayapanu, managing director and founder of e-commerce service provider Tarad Dot Com, said more Thais are now able to access technology thanks to the government’s economic stimulus during Covid.
He also pointed out that e-commerce would begin to disrupt local businesses soon as Thai retailers outside Bangkok are now adopting e-commerce platforms.
“In the future, retailers will be forced to use e-commerce to boost their business efficiency,” he said.
However, the three speakers advised small and medium enterprises (SMEs) not to jump into the metaverse straightaway, warning its hardware, software and users are still insufficient.
“Marketing in the metaverse will begin bustling once technologies are ready and big players arrive,” Thanawat said. He expects people will adapt to the metaverse within three years.